Saturday, March 27, 2010


Have I explained how crazy the weather is here????  Friday afternoon a huge sandstorm blew in with the 60 mph winds while we were on our way home from school.  I had to run to the store for a few things and had dirt in my mouth and stuck to my lipstick before I could get inside.  YUCK!!!
By the time I got home there was a coating of dirt on everything in the house too! All the sand that did not stick to me or blow into the car through the vents, blew into the house through the dog door I believe.
This is the first round of sweeping - I'm still not done...
I really don't love this West Texas stuff...

We had a little Texas Hold em going on at our house this evening... Kellie and Mike play games almost everynight and poker had not been in the rotation lately, so her game wasn't as sharp as she thought... I think the words were "Flushes are stupid"...

Off to dust and sweep somemore...anyone have a sand box that needs filling?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A little early birthday treat

During spring break when my crafting friend came over, I had to think of something to make...

Katie's birthday is coming up and I thought I would make her a little goodie.  I started with a french fry box and intended for it to be more of a joke about her love of fries but then went a totally different direction... Of course, I knew going into it I would like it way more than she did...

I was going to save it for her birthday but she found it, so figured I could post about it now...

She liked it.  I think her words were "a french fry box, really mom?"  She flipped right through it and I mentioned that she didn't read everything and pull out all the cards to read them.  So, she flipped through it again.  She read some of it.  She said she loved it and thanked me and took it to her room.  It was exactly the reaction I expected, but a little ooohing and aaaahing would have been ok... guess that's why I took it and showed my friends...

That's it... just a little something...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Treasure and a really old DNA sample

I have an antique cedar chest that houses a lot of random old things... You know, the stuff you want to keep but never really need or use.
 It has a few of my baby clothes, baby books, a boomerang from Australia ( that I was only allowed to play with once due to the broken finger my mother got when she tried to catch it), some things from when we lived in other countries, some very random sports pictures Mikes insists on saving, and my mother's jewelry box, among other things...

My kids have seen all of this stuff before but since I rarely take the stuff off of the top of the cedar chest to delve into in, they act like it is finding buried treasure when I do.  Last week I was searching for something and opened up the chest of treasure.

I look over and Kellie has Mother's jewelry box open, questioning every item in it.  Any jewelry worth wearing has long since been taken out.  What is left is the same things I remember from when I snooped in it as a girl.

Yellowed, old obituaries are there - my aunt and my grandfather I believe.  A coin purse my mom had that has coins and bills from when we lived in Iran,  a few random clip on earrings with no mate,  a broken baby spoon with a hand carved ivory handle.  
And, the strangest of all the contents.  Two big curls of hair from my dad's first hair cut.  

This plain, black jewelry box was always an interesting place to me...And now to Kellie
Did I mention the biggest find - the gold chain to hold your glasses on?

She enjoyed going over every item with me piece by piece.  Oh, except for the curls.  That creeped her out.

What exactly do you do with you dad's curls from his first hair cut? I hate to throw them away after all these years but I'm pretty sure I don't need them.

I think those curls must be the family quirk that caused my mother to think she must also save hair from my first major haircut - I have a ponytail wrapped in tin foil in a box somewhere that my mom saved from when I was about 5.

  And now because of that I also have two ponytails in zip lock baggies from my girls getting rid of their ponytail for the first time...

Are my grandkids going to be going through that jewelry box one day wondering who's curls those are and why there are three ponytails?  Maybe Kellie will also explain why we still can't play with the boomerang...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What an end to spring break

It's warm and toasty inside

But on the first day of spring it's crazy outside

Katie wrote a message in the snow

I added some extra words she forgot to write...

A sad snow angel

And because what is snow in West Texas without a tumble weed blowing into the yard?

Fun jumping on the trampoline in snow.

Chili is cooking on the stove for the cold snap.  It's a new recipe.  I'll let you know how it turns out...
Enjoy your Sat. and Happy Birthday my sweet Jennifer... we wish we were with you on your birthday!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Chinese night at our house

Tonight the girls and I cooked our favorite Pei Wei foods....

And they turned out fabulous!  I've linked the recipes I used above...

 I finally found the secret to the fried rice.  You have to start with cold rice.  It made all the difference!  Mine had always been a little mushy but this time it was perfect.

'You should make this more often' was the last comment I heard.  Now we're settling in for a movie.  I'm loving all this time off together.

And on our last couple of days of spring break... they are predicting snow tonight and tomorrow.  This has been a crazy winter!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

15 Years

Where has the time gone? Today is our 15th anniversary. It feels like yesterday. Really, it does.

What a great time in our life. Well, except for Mike's big glasses...
This morning I cooked brunch for everyone and as I was cleaning and sweeping the kitchen and I started thinking that 15 years ago I would have never dreamed I'd be so happy cleaning for my sweet family.

Right after this thought, Mike came in and asked what I wanted to do for our anniversary. I said 'clean the garage, change light bulbs, etc' he looked at me like I was crazy.
Who knew, 15 years later he still can't figure out my love language!

 He interpreted this as 'I'd like you to take a nap and enjoy a leisurely day' apparently since that is what he is doing.... oh, well. some things haven't changed in all those years.
We are enjoying our spring break doing nothing. It's been a treat to just get to all hang out and not have anything we have to do. It has been really good family time.

I can't wait to see what the next 15 years look like!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday - Spring Break

I woke up today to a loud thunder storm.  It was wonderful.  Morning coffee is always better with a good storm outside.  It's something I miss - we don't get many of them here in West Texas....

I had a friend coming over to craft.  You know, for me that is an excuse to cook a little something.
Todays menu was Hot Chicken Salad, Oriental Cole Slaw and Apple dump cake.

Hot Chicken Salad

3 Cups Cooked chicken, cubed
3 Cups chopped celery
3 cups croutons
2 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 1/4 cups toasted sliced almonds
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups cubed cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients together and bake in a 13x9 pan at 350 till cheese is melted.

It was very good.  I've been picking at the hot chicken salad all day!

A little after lunch, we  realized it wasn't just raining outside, it was snowing also.  Big, huge snow flakes for an hour or two mixed with the rain.  Crazy spring break weather!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekends and dominoes

We are having a very relaxing weekend and are very excited about spring break and our lack of plans.  It's hard for me to not have a plan but Mike is completely the opposite.  I keep trying to get him to tell me what he wants to do this week and he just won't cooperate. 

Saturday we started with a leisurely morning.

Elvis was so excited we were all home to play

When we started talking about going out for lunch and shopping he decided to sit in Katie's lap to detain her

Lunch, shopping, girl time was great.  Last nigth I went out with a friend from school while Mike took Kellie on a date.  All last minute plans.

Today, other than church we have done nothing. 

Tonight we had a lesson in "shoot the moon".  When I was touching up the pictures I decided that the 1960 feature was just perfect for a domino's game...  looks just like the 60's... minus all the cell phones on the table...

here we're getting a lesson on how to tell how much to bid. 

Kellie is explain dad is going to get a minus four, NOT four...
She is so competitive, just like her dad... she was bidding higher than she could get just so she could go first.... It's just a pleasure playing with those two!

This doing nothing today has been hard for me.  Mike has been working so hard and I know he needs this time to just rest, be still, not have to work constantly.  I however, am just not good at that.  I'm having a hard time not filling all his time with things I need done around here.  
You think tomorrow is long enough to hold off on the chore requests?

Tomorrow my work friends are coming over to craft.  Wonder what dad and the girls will do?  The week of no plans is just beginning...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A gift of a day

Do you ever have a day start out different than you expect and yet it turns out to be so good?
Kellie is home with Strep AGAIN!  She has gotten old enough that I can leave her home alone if I need to but I was able to get a sub. so decided I would stay home with her. 
We got an early dr's apt. to find out, that yes, it was strep AGAIN. 
When I went to get her medication, I was able to also run a few errands I needed to do.  I've cleaned up the house, done some laundry and finally finished a crafty project I needed to get done. 
Kellie and I have watched this weeks Lost, snuggled, laughed and spent some good time together.  Sometimes what starts out as an inconvenience turns into something really good. 

Not the strep, just the time the day provided....

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pizza and Pesto

Tonight was homemade pizza night at our house. 

 It took three different pizza's to please everyone.

Honey Pizza Dough

1 package active dry yeast
1 tsp honey
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4-cup warm water (100-110 degrees).

In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. (can do by hand with spoon if you don't have a mixer).
Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 C water, mix on low speed until dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 minutes.
If the dough is still sticky, then simply add a bit more flour until it pulls cleanly away from the hook.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes.
The dough should be smooth and firm. Place in lightly oiled bowl an cover with plastic wrap.
Let sit for about 30-45 minutes. (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled).
Take dough out of bowl and divide into either 2 balls
Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times.
Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest 15 to 20 minutes.
At this point, the balls can be used or wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

To make pizzas, stretch out onto greased pizza pan, top with sauce and toppings, brush exposed crust with olive oil and extra honey if desired and bake at 450 degrees for 12-16 minutes, until done. (smaller pizzas will take less time, so keep watching it)

I decided to make a batch of pesto for my pizza - or Kellie decided to take over the pesto making, all the while telling me how yucky it sounded....We had this at a cousins house over the holidays and I might or might not have camped right in front of the bowl.  maybe.

This is the best pesto ever.  Ever.

It is worth every minute and calorie that might be in it.

You'll need to test it out with a cracker or ten.

Artichoke Pesto
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

1 lg can artichoke hearts
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, packed down
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
In a food processor combine the artichokes, parsley, walnuts, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt, and pepper and parmesan. Run the machine to finely chop all the ingredients, stopping the machine a few times to scrape down the sides. Then, with the machine running, drizzle in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil.
Serve on toasted french bread slices, crackers, etc. 

I used the pesto on my pizza rather than sauce, yummy.

And, as usual, when I uploaded pictures there had been another photo shoot I was unaware of...

and looks like there might have been some jumping on the bed... or "off the bed" as I was told when I asked about it...